Tag Archives: laughter

When laughter won’t come

I can feel it coming on.  The darkness.  First, only around the edges, creeping in like a dense fog that I know will, if it continues, consume me and completely separate me from everything except the thoughts that swirl in my head.  Thoughts that taunt me with hurtful things and imaginings, making me cry, then weep, then become angry in a way that I cannot grasp.  Words and faces become harder to focus on and forgetfulness struggles to keep me bound within the prison that is rapidly surrounding me.  The walls close in and yet I cannot bear the thought of getting out because then the vastness of space overtakes what bit of sanity I feel I have left.  I look around at the beauty I saw only yesterday and find it colorless and lacking and am even more saddened that it holds no interest to me and for that moment in time, I can’t find it within myself to care about anything.  Music, which is a source of great enjoyment becomes, instead of melodies, waves of noise that threaten to send me over the edge.  I become isolated by my own insecurities and emptiness and there is nowhere to go and to no one that I can turn.  At least that is how I feel during these dark days.

From one end of the house to the other, I pace, pace and pace some more.  Food doesn’t appeal, and all I can think of is how angry I feel.  There is never any warning before these days come, they just come.  Sometimes the darkness lasts for a day and others for several days.  I can’t sleep or think.  Working is a chore as it takes every fiber of my being to do my job without screaming, crying or just collapsing in pile of despair. I hope the phone will ring, that someone will call just so that I know there is another human on the planet that cares about me and at the same time, I can’t bear to talk to anyone.  There is nothing to say and no way to say it without sounding like a complete nut.  Forcing a smile becomes second nature for without it, there are the questions of what’s wrong? Are you ok?  Why are you so quiet?  And there are no answers to these questions.  What could I possibly say?  That I just want to disappear into a mist of nothingness until whatever it is that is consuming me goes away?  And then comes the niggling thought that maybe I’ll feel like this forever and that the laughter will never come back into my life and the despair overtakes me.

I spend a lot of time avoiding God, or at least trying to.  While I try to run from Him, He is steadily waiting for me to come to Him.  I find that I cannot out-wait God.  His mercy and patience far exceeds anything that I can even fathom.  I cry out to Him to take this darkness from me because I cannot fight it alone.  It is a scary place to be, where screams won’t come, laughter is lost and there is no release from the constriction that threatens to suffocate me.

And then, a ray, small at first, but a ray … and then a note, then a melody, then a bubble of laughter.  The darkness opens up and hope shines through, a bright beacon in what has been a harrowing space in time.  The smile becomes genuine and my heart, once heavy and burdened, becomes lighter.  The mercy and grace from a patient and loving God opens the door and I am able to walk through, safe again from the depression that would, if it could, destroy me.

It is usually at this time that I crash, sleeping twelve or more hours at a time, waking to feel groggy and hung over, but better nonetheless.  After the crash comes the healing.  It isn’t possible to explain to someone who has never experienced spirals of depression how it feels.  It is not possible to explain to a Christian how I can be so hopeless and still believe in a marvelous God.  Just because I cannot find it within myself to come out of the darkness doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in the light.  For now, the moment has passed.  Maybe it will be years before it happens again.  Maybe it will never happen again.  Or maybe I will wake up in the morning feeling as though the floor of my world has fallen away and I, too am falling into nothingness.  But until then, I will glorify God, shoot my Pentax and bask in a life worth living.

If you suffer from episodes of depression, you are not alone and you have nothing to be ashamed about.  While it may seem that you are in a world of one, you are not.  Hope doesn’t desert us when we give up on it, it just waits until we are able to look for it again.  And, as always, it is there and with it comes the laughter.

A squirrel’s tale

Tonight, my sister called me to regale me with a tale that still has me nearly hysterical with laughter.  To the best of my ability I will try to relate the story, as told to me, so that my readers may roll around in hysterics as well.


For the first time all week, the house was quiet.

My niece and cousin, Taylor and Emily, were sitting around the living room and Sophie was, for the moment, feeling better than she had in the last couple of days.  I haven’t felt so great myself this last week, so a momentarily calm respite was a welcomed time and a bit of relaxation was, as far as I was concerned, in order.

Leaving the girls in the other room, I walked into the dining room to look out on the back yard and gaze into the sky, wondering if it would be another rainy evening.  As it usually does, my gaze wandered to the pool; the clear water, blue like the tiled lining, was still and inviting.  The leaves in the trees trembled slightly in the light breeze and birds flew here and there as though playing tag.  It looked to be a wonderful time to sit down and just chill out for a while.

As I turned to go back and join the others, something caught my eye.  I blinked, because at first glance, I didn’t believe what I was seeing.  In an instant, the serenity that had been within my grasp was gone.

There, in the calm waters of the pool, was a squirrel and it wasn’t moving a muscle.

Having, as I said, felt less than stellar the last couple of days, I immediately felt a wave of squeamish nausea.

I could not face the thought of fishing a dead squirrel out of the swimming pool.

Without hesitation, I started calling the people I knew who could handle this situation with ease.

Any other time, they would be driving me bats, calling, texting, questioning… but on this night, it was as though they had all been transported elsewhere and there was no answer to any of my calls.

So, as a last resort, I called my husband at work to demand he come home immediately and get that thing out of the pool.  He was less than excited about the whole incident and frankly told me that he wasn’t going to leave work to get the squirrel out of the pool; but that someone had to do it.

He was even kind enough to tell me where I could find a pair of gloves.


I was on the verge of requesting to speak to the man who works with him to see if HE would come and help me.

But I didn’t.

I wanted desperately to scream, stomp and throw the phone into the pool with the dead squirrel.

But I didn’t.

Instead, I did what could likely be the dumbest thing I have done all year.

Turning back into the living room, I addressed Taylor, Emily and Sophie.  I told them calmly and concisely what was up and what they needed to do.  My niece promptly retrieved the gloves, donned them and was ready for action.

We went outside as a unit, myself, Sophie, Taylor and Emily.

As the two brave girls walked toward the pool, Emily shrieked “It’s moving!”.

Everyone sprang into action.

Taylor, wearing the heavy gloves, stood near Emily as they prepared to move what was now the nearly dead squirrel out of the pool.

Almost like a movie, the events that unfolded reminded me of a song that Ray Stevens sang about a rogue squirrel in a Mississippi church.  The squirrel was, as we say in East Tennessee, playing possum.

Not only was it not dead, it was very much alive.

It jumped out of the pool and the two brave girls turned into stomping, dancing, flapping, screaming, squealing babies.  The dog, a dachshund of all things, began chasing the squirrel around and around the pool.  The girls continued their dance of terror as Sophie began screaming for me to not let the dog kill the squirrel.

She didn’t seem to mind that the squirrel was dead when it was dead, but once it showed it had plenty of life, it became an issue.

So there I stood with two half-grown girls freaking out, a five-year old freaking out and a dog trying her very best to catch that blasted squirrel, who by now was also freaking out.

After several rounds in and around the pool, the squirrel finally realizing it had a brain in that walnut sized head, jumped upon the deck railing that encloses the pool and made his way into the back yard and out of sight.  After the adrenaline waned and everyone had calmed down enough to go back inside, I made a decision.  Since Sophie was feeling better and there were two babysitters on the premises, my mind was made up.  I had to get out of the house.  So, I left the three of them watching a movie and am now on my way to Wal-Mart.

If I can only get my hands on some cream horns, nobody will get hurt.

* I laughed so hard when my sister told me this, as a matter of fact, I am still laughing.  While I realize this post is not about photography, or encouragement or even greeting cards but laughter and camaraderie among a bunch of girls, I felt it was important to relate it.  Laughter is, after all, one of the very best medicines.  Enjoy the post and laugh out loud if you feel like it.